Small Town,
Pennsylvania

Summer 2017

Examining the challenges and opportunities of living and working in the small towns of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

If funds shrink, can EMS in rural Pa. survive?

Ambulance crews see shrinking funds and staffing, even as they are tasked with saving residents in an unprecedented epidemic of overdoses.

The dilemma of shrinking schools

In rural Pennsylvania, school districts are shedding students. Could consolidation save them?

“We put ourselves here. It’s our responsibility to dig ourselves out of here.”



Bobby Steele, from drug dens to CEO

Bobby Steele speaks to inmates about his criminal history and how he overcame it. His story exposes the lack of re-entry services for ex-cons, particularly in rural counties.

Can dairy farms survive skim profits?

Flat milk prices force many dairy farmers in Southwestern Pennsylvania to adopt new technology or find a new industry.

Facts you should know about the small towns of Southwestern Pennsylvania

Quick takes on population, jobs, drilling and the opioid epidemic.

“The more engaged the people are with Shell, the more active they are in talking with Shell and asking hard questions.”



The right to ‘know what goes up your nose'

Shell still hasn’t committed to installing fenceline monitoring at the Beaver Country cracker site. How it worked in other communities and why environmentalists say it’s essential.

Buying billboards to advocate for clean water

Heavy rain means raw sewage in this Westmoreland County community — on private land and in public drinking water.

‘Self-inflicted gunshot’

It’s suicide, not homicide, that drives gun deaths among white men, particularly in rural counties where gun ownership is high.